Railway Standards

What to expect while waiting for your Train in India?

The Indian Railway system is extremely well connected and is the most economical way of travelling around the country. But it might fall a little short of your expected standards of travelling if you are not prepared beforehand.

Be prepared and make the best out the facilities at the Indian Railway Stations.

  1. Check your Train Schedule before leaving to the station.

    If you are boarding at the Initial departing station, you may not have to worry as almost all trains start on time, unless there is a major issue. But if you are to board a train en route to its destination, check the status of the Train online before leaving. It will be wise to save time waiting in the Station yet arrive at a comfortable time to board your coach.

  2. Check the Platform allotted for your Train.

    While entering any station, there must be a board or a screen that displays all the trains in the Arrival and Departure section. Along with it, they provide details of the its scheduled arrival/departure, delays if any and the Platform where the train will be stationed. You can also find the platforms online but it is better to check them once at the Station before proceeding inside.

  3. Be prepared to wade through the crowd.

    Travelling in first class AC coach or the second class does not make a difference until you actually are on the train. The platform will be filled with people from all walks of life, lined up and waiting with their baggage. There are AC waiting rooms for people travelling in the AC coaches, but usually this facility is available only in the stations in the big cities.

  4. Transportation from the Railway Stations.

    The big cities have prepaid taxi and auto stands which makes travelling easier and you can safely avoid getting fleeced. There can be a lot of drivers who can offer you rides and lure you with the rates. But it is always better to choose the more reliable taxi/auto from the prepaid counters. You could also download any of the Taxi apps on your phone and book a ride, if you have access to data

  5. Standards of Hygiene inside the Railway Station.

    Many of the railway stations, including the ones in the big cities may not have the best sanitation facilities. Hence it is always to be prepared and cautious. Carrying drinking water and sanitizers will always come in handy.

 

Know the different types of coach classes in India:

 

There are about 5 kinds of classes that the Indian Railways offers on almost all the train journeys. These classes vary in terms of the amount of space for yourself, the coach temperature and the food preparation. These coaches are all juxtaposed but might not be accessible to everyone on the train.

Second Class:

This is the basic and cheapest class where the mass crowd travels. This kind of travel is not for the weak hearted as there is practically no personal space in these coaches and there are people travelling from all walks of life. There is not rule on the number of passengers that each coach can carry as there are no seat reservations. First come, first served and hence you can safely stay away from this unless you want a wild adventure for a lifetime!

Sleeper Class:

This type of coach is the basic level of comfort that you can ask for a long journey or an overnight train. These have berths for each one to lie down and stretch their legs. But they are non-Air Conditioned and food is sold by local vendors who pass up and down each compartment. Almost all trains have several ‘sleeper class’ coaches indicating this is the mode that the majority of the people travel on.

AC Tiers (1 to 3)

AC tiers can be grouped together by imagining varying degrees of segregation and some service comforts (such as complimentary bed rolls) on a sliding scale going up from the lowest, 3rd tier, to the highest, 1st tier. These cars also tend to be segregated from the rest of the bustle of the train with first class being the most private and third being the least.  You will find food similar to the rest of the train with perhaps more variety offered in the highest classes. It depends on the train, but if a meal is served, the train will ask for your preference (vegetarian or non-veg) when you book your ticket online.